This is what I’ve been needing for a few days now I think.
Prayer can also be enhanced by fasting. The Lord said, “I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.” A plea for wisdom in fasting was offered by President Joseph F. Smith, who cautioned that “there is such a thing as overdoing. A man may fast and pray till he kills himself; and there isn’t any necessity for it; nor wisdom in it. … The Lord can hear a simple prayer, offered in faith, in half a dozen words, and he will recognize fasting that may not continue more than twenty-four hours, just as readily and as effectually as He will answer a prayer of a thousand words and fasting for a month. … The Lord will accept that which is enough, with a good deal more pleasure and satisfaction than that which is too much and unnecessary.”
The concept of “too much and unnecessary” could also apply to the length of our prayers. A closing prayer in a Church meeting need not include a summary of each message and should not become an unscheduled sermon. Private prayers can be as long as we want, but public prayers ought to be short supplications for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us or brief declarations of gratitude for what has transpired.
If we listen with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to us—by the Spirit and by our friends.
Ensign, May 2001